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threatened and/or endangered

Red-spotted Toad Bufo punctatus


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Red-spotted Toad
credit: USGS

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Bufonidae, Toads view all from this family

Description Gray-brown to olive. Reddish warts. absent cranial crests.

Dimensions 3.8-7.6cm. (1 1/2-3")

Warning Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous white poison that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea, irregular heart beat, and, in extreme cases, death. Toads pose a danger to pets, which may pounce on and bite them. Humans should take care to wash their hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so.

Voice Musical trill. High-pitched. Calls when near water.

Breeding April-September. Rainfall signals start. Lays eggs one at a time. Hatches in 3 days. Tadpoles develop after 6-8 weeks.

Habitat Rocky regions, praire grasslands, coniferous forests.

Range Texas into California and Mexico.

Discussion Burrows or beneath rocks or moist plant matter during dry season and becomes suddenly active during rainfall when multitudes of individuals emerge.